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Boat ramp at Carr Creek will temporarily close Jan. 8-12

The marina boat ramp at Carr Creek Lake in Knott County will temporarily close Jan. 8-12 while the facilities are being used as a staging area for a major fish habitat improvement project.

Anglers may still launch their boats at the ramp located at the dam of the 521-acre lake.

“This is the first of three phases for Carr Creek Lake,” said Joseph Zimmerman, Fisheries Habitat Coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “In addition to increasing angler success, an important aspect of this project is increasing cover for young fish to help with overwinter survival. This is due to the lack of structural habitat available once the lake is lowered to winter pool.”

Habitat work will include the placement of trees, PVC structures, Mossback Fish Habitat, wooden pallets and stake beds at winter and summer pool depths. Obtaining and assembling the habitat structures has grown into a community project.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff at Carr Creek have been great partners and have donated some commercially-made habitat structures made by Mossback Fish Habitat, block and additional supplies for the project,” Zimmerman said. “Local avid anglers have created a Friends of Carr Creek group and have received a grant from the Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership to help with habitat material. Also, we are excited to partner with the Knott County High School FFA (Future Farmers of America). They will assist with building and staging structures for deployment.”

Willie L. Whitaker, operations manager for the Upper Kentucky River Area for the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said anglers will benefit from the project.

“This large scale fish habitat improvement project is a great opportunity to enhance the existing fishing opportunities at Carr Creek Lake and long term investment of an overall sustainable fishery management program,” he said.

Small fish use habitat to hide from predators. Bass and other predators hunt the habitat structure for food, concentrating the fish for anglers. Providing cover helps boost overall populations of fish in the lake.

“Current walleye numbers are good, and we’re seeing some improvement in larger crappie and largemouth bass numbers,” said Kevin Frey, Eastern Fisheries District Program Coordinator. “We are looking to see some improved angler harvest rates of these fish during pre-spawn and into this spring as a result of this project.”

The Carr Creek Lake project is part of an ongoing effort by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife to improve fishing by providing fish the habitat they need to thrive.

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